Launching a rocket, running a business, driving to work and even day-to-day living all involve some degree of risk. Risk is ever present yet not always recognized, adequately assessed and appropriately mitigated. Identification, assessment and mitigation of risk are elements of the risk management component of the "continuous improvement" way of life that has become a hallmark of successful and progressive enterprises. While the application of risk management techniques to provide continuous improvement may be detailed and extensive, the philosophy, ideals and tools can be beneficially applied to all situations. Experiences with the use of risk identification, assessment and mitigation techniques for complex systems and processes are described. System safety efforts and tools used to examine potential risks of the Ares I First Stage of NASA s new Constellation Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV) presently being designed are noted as examples. Recommendations from lessons learned are provided for the application of risk management during the development of new systems as well as for the improvement of existing systems. Lessons learned and suggestions given are also examined for applicability to simple systems, uncomplicated processes and routine personal daily tasks. This paper informs the reader of varied uses of risk management efforts and techniques to identify, assess and mitigate risk for improvement of products, success of business, protection of people and enhancement of personal life.